Posts tagged ‘New Years Eve’

Ending the year in Fort Lauderdale 2014

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My friend Susie and I were invited to go on a cruise with a group of friends leaving from Fort Lauderdale, FL on the 2nd of January.  We decided to go a couple of days early and celebrate New Years Eve on the East Coast.  We flew out of Seattle Wednesday morning and arrived at our beautiful Hyatt Place hotel in the early evening.

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After getting settled in we headed downtown to the Orange Bowl New Years Eve Countdown.

New Years Eve Orange Bowl street fair

New Years Eve Orange Bowl street fair

I loved the palm trees all lit up along the streets

I loved the palm trees all lit up along the streets

It was fun sitting along the waterfront watching the boats coming and going

It was fun sitting along the waterfront watching the boats coming and going

That's a tall drink!

That’s a tall drink!

We listened to the band and enjoyed the nice warm night.  At midnight the ball dropped and it was 2015!

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year!!!

The next morning we took the short walk to the water taxi.  The water taxi is a hop on / hop off boat that cruises along all the waterways of the city.  Since Ft. Lauderdale is considered the “Venice of America”,  there’s no better way to enjoy the sights and stops along the way.

Ft. Lauderdale Water Taxi

Ft. Lauderdale Water Taxi

The crew talked about all the houses and yachts, suggested places to shop and eat, and answered all of our questions.  What a fun way to see the sights of Ft. Lauderdale.

Ron Howards yacht "Imagine"

Ron Howard’s yacht “Imagine”

Susie enjoying the ride

Susie enjoying the ride

Toyota dealership owner's humble abode

Toyota dealership owner’s humble abode

He bought the house next door, tore it down to create a dog park for his pups.  Lucky dogs!

He bought the house next door, then promptly tore it down to create a dog park for his pups. Lucky dogs!  And notice that their yacht is pulled up alongside too!

Most expensive house in Ft. Lauderdale.  $18 million dollar home.  It has no land.  The home takes up the entire lot.  The parking garage in under the house.

Most expensive house in Ft. Lauderdale. $18 million dollar home. It has no land. The home takes up the entire lot. The parking garage in under the house.

This was originally Lucy and Desi's home in the day.  It's a beautiful home but doesn't compare to the houses built today.

This was originally Lucy and Desi’s home in the day. It’s a beautiful home but doesn’t compare to the houses built today.

We decided to go back to the hotel and have a rest before heading back out for the evening.  We chose to take the Water Taxi again to see the Christmas lights.

Beautiful palm trees lit up for Christmas

Beautiful palm trees lit up for Christmas

Not only do they decorate their beautiful homes, but their yachts too!

Not only do they decorate their beautiful homes, but their yachts too!

More trees lit up for Christmas

More trees lit up for Christmas

We got off the boat at Flipflops.  A casual Caribbean style restaurant right on the water.  We had a wonderful seafood dinner, listened to Reggae music, and enjoyed sitting by the relaxing water.  A perfect way to end the day.

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A great place to eat

A great place to eat

A great dinner, great atmosphere, with a great friend!  What better way can you start out a new year?

A great dinner, great atmosphere, with a great friend! What better way can you start out a new year?

Tomorrow we head to the cruise ship down to the Caribbean!

 

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January 15, 2015 at 8:17 pm Leave a comment

New Years Eve 2013

I have been spending the last several New Years Eve’s in Portland, Oregon pet sitting two adorable Italian Greyhounds, Luna and Reilly.

Cuddling with Luna and Reilly

Cuddling with Luna and Reilly

I love these two little ones so much and enjoy each and every minute I spend with them.  Luna has had a bit of a decline this year and is now blind and deaf.  Along with her having prosthetics on her two front legs, you might think she would be having such a hard time.  But not Luna!  She has managed to learn how to navigate around the house and yard, and she even still enjoys playing with her treat toys with Reilly.

Luna and Reilly playing with their treat toys

Luna and Reilly playing with their treat toys

This year my sister Kathy came down from Washington state to spend a few days with me and the pups.  She immediately bonded with Reilly and they were pretty much inseparable during her stay.

Reilly with his new friend Kathy

Reilly with his new friend Kathy

Reilly is just the sweetest little boy.  He loves to cuddle with me, but he also loves to cuddle with and groom Luna.  Is this the sweetest picture ever?

Reilly comforting Luna

Reilly comforting Luna

On New Years Eve Kathy and I went out to see the Christmas lights on Peacock Lane.  This is a tradition for Kathy and I.  We’ve gone out to look at lights for many years.  Some years with the kids, then with the grandkids, some years just the two of us.  We even went out one year in our PJ’s!  Peacock Lane is an entire block with every house adorned with lights and decorations for Christmas.  It was really beautiful!

One of the many decorated homes on Peacock Lane

One of the many decorated homes on Peacock Lane

Then we went out to dinner at a local family restaurant.  The waiter was a nice young man looking forward to finishing his shift and going out with his friends.  When we were ready to leave, Kathy decided to leave him a $50 tip!  She put the tip on the table and we left.  From the parking lot we were able to see him pick up the tip and all excitedly show it to the hostess.  What a fun, unexpected treat for him.  That’s my sister for you.  You just never know when she is going to do something crazy and wonderful!

A couple of days later we took a drive to Stevenson, WA and to the Scamania Lodge for lunch.  A friend of ours had told us about it so we decided to take advantage of being in the area.

DSC01414What an absolutely beautiful place!  We sat in the lobby and enjoyed the fireplace and mountain atmosphere.

Kathy enjoying the beautiful lobby

Kathy enjoying the beautiful lobby

What a warm and comforting fireplace for a cold winters day!

What a warm and comforting fireplace for a cold winters day!

We had a delicious lunch while enjoying the beautiful view of the mountains and the Columbia Gorge.

Lunch at Scamania Lodge

Lunch at Scamania Lodge

Next we crossed the Bridge of the Gods back into Cascade Locks.

DSC01430Kathy had read the book ‘Wild’, the story of Cheryl Strayeds’ journey of walking the Pacific Crest Trail and was really touched by it.   She was thrilled that we were right at the trailhead so she had to get a picture next to the trailhead sign.

Kathy by the Pacific Trail trailhead

Kathy by the Pacific Crest Trail trailhead

A movie is being made of her incredible story and it was actually being filmed here in November.  Reese Witherspoon is playing Cheryl in the movie.

Reese Witherspoon playing Cheryl Strayed in the movie 'Wild'

Reese Witherspoon playing Cheryl Strayed in the movie ‘Wild’

Cheryl ended her hike at the Bridge of the Gods, walked down to the East Wind Drive-In to get an ice cream cone and reflect on her journey.

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So of course Kathy wanted to experience having one of the huge, delicious chocolate and vanilla ice cream swirl cones to finalize her bonding with this amazing story.  Well, needless to say, she didn’t get quite the serene experience that Cheryl did.  As soon as Kathy was handed the huge cone, it ended up on her lap!

Swirl cone disaster

Swirl cone disaster

She rescued the cone and dumped it in a cup.  As we drove away in laughter she ate her cone with a spoon and decided this was probably as close as she would ever get to experiencing the life of Cheryl Strayed.

January 15, 2014 at 9:30 am Leave a comment

New Years Eve 2011

I spent New Year’s Eve with Luna and Reilly again this year.  It’s becoming a tradition.  This is my third year that I’ve come down to Portland to ring in the New Year with these sweet little Iggy’s.  It’s a tradition that I like a lot.  I guess I’m past needing to ring in the New Year out partying and celebrating.  I’ve had lots of those years.  These days I enjoy reflecting on the years past and looking forward to what’s ahead.  There are many New Years Eve’s that I will never forget, here are just a few.

When I was a young adult, several friends and family would gather up the kids and head to a place we called “the flats”.  It was a big field close to our house that had the perfect sledding hill.  Someone would build a huge bonfire and we would all go sledding, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows, drinking hot chocolate and giving rides on the four-wheelers until wee hours of the night.  What fun!

I will never forget the last time my dad “rang the bell” as the clock struck 12.  Dad had gone back to Minnesota years before and got the bell from his old school house.  He put it on the roof of his shop and every year we would all go out so he could literally ring in the New Year.  Dad had Alzheimer’s at the end so that last year was really special.  My son Ben now has the bell.  I know he remembers his Grandpa ringing that bell and hopefully he will give it a ring every now and then.

And how can I forget the year my daughter Heather and I went to New York City to welcome the New Year in Times Square.  Wow, was that an experience I’ll never forget!  We were corralled in the fenced in areas for hours with thousands of other people from all over the world waiting for the ball to drop.  It was an experience of a lifetime!

It’s nice to look back on all the years that I’ve had with friends and family.  And I’m looking forward to another wonderful year of adventure.  Who knows what is in store for me in 2012.  Bring it on!!!

January 2, 2012 at 8:51 pm Leave a comment